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Paul Silvi: Suspended UW football coach Jimmy Lake deserves 2nd chance

KING 5 Sports Director Paul Silvi weighs in on Huskies Football Coach Jimmy Lake, who was suspended after a sideline altercation Saturday.

SEATTLE — University of Washington football coach Jimmy Lake is dealing with much more than I'm sure he ever anticipated going into his first full season as a college head coach.

His one-game suspension - the fallout of a sideline incident with one of his players during the Oregon game - is the culmination of things that have slowly spiraled downward for Lake and the UW football program over the last few months.

Lake's resume is stacked with coaching stops and the experience that comes with being an assistant at all levels.

Keyword: assistant.

It took him 20 years to become a head coach and he's learning the hard lessons that come with overseeing an entire football program for the first time in his career.

RELATED: UW suspends football head coach for 1 game without pay after sideline incident involving player

Saturday's incident that showed Lake hitting one of his players, Ruperake Fuavai, in the facemask and shoving him was not a good look.

That's the bad. 

There was some good attempted. Lake raced 15 yards down the sideline to break up an altercation Fuavai started and was escalating with an Oregon player after a kickoff return spilled into the Huskies' sideline. 

Lake had the right intent, but the wrong response. 

He was overemotional. He wanted to avoid a costly penalty, especially when his team had momentum and a 7-3 lead over the seventh-ranked team in the country.

But the Huskies' head coach temporarily lost control.

Look, there's no changing what happened.

The bigger question is where does the UW football program go from here?

In my opinion, everybody gets one. 

This is Lake's one.

It may not be the popular opinion in this case, but I subscribe to it.

Lake made an egregious mistake. The optics are horrible.

He released a statement on Twitter, apologizing for his actions and accepting his punishment.

Is that enough to give him a second chance? I think so.

Lake is under contract through 2024 - a contract that will pay him $9.9 million over the next three years. 

He knows how to coach. Ask his past players on the defensive side of the ball who have been collecting checks in the NFL.

But can Lake run an entire program?

We're going to find out. He needs to take a page out of Pete Carroll's book. Lake has to surround himself with quality assistants. He has already replaced his offensive coordinator - for whatever reason, that wasn't working.

It's not just the coaches who are on notice. The players know they have to rise to the challenge.

In sports, winning may not cure everything, but it cures a lot of things. 

You can bet Jimmy will take several long looks in the mirror this week - a week away from his football program and around his family.

Warren Buffet famously said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

This week, Jimmy will have plenty of time to think.

RELATED: Paul Silvi: Huskies Football Coach Jimmy Lake stokes rivalry with Oregon

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